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Farrington's Theory of Delinquent Development is highly applicable to criminology today. As theories within the social sciences become more and more advanced they

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ASSIGNMENT 02: Farrington's theory of delinquent development suggests that life experiences influence behaviour choices. Explain this life course theory within the context of developmental theories. SUBJECT CODE: HCRFUN-G COURSE: CRIMINOLOGY HONOURS SUBJECT: FUNDAMENTAL CRIMINOLOGY STUDENT NUMBER: 35425717 STUDENT NAME: MEGAN DAVEY DUE DATE: 31 AUGUST 2006 Table of Contents Page 1. INTRODUCTION 1 2. KEY CONCEPTS 2 2.1 Developmental Theories 2 2.2 Life Course Theory 2 2.3 Antisocial Development 3 2.4 Criminal Career 3 3. FARRINGTON'sS THEORY OF DELINQUENT DEVELOPMENT 4 3.1 Biological Influences 5 3.2 Family Factors 6 3.2.1 Parenting 7 3.2.2 Child Abuse 8 3.2.3 Social Deprivation and Socio-economic Status 9 3.3 Psychological Predictors 9 3.4 Peer Group Influences 10 3.5 Social, School and Community Factors 11 4. SUMMARY 13 5. CONCLUSION 13 Bibliography 1. INTRODUCTION: Crime and delinquency is often best understood from an integrative approach. One of the most comprehensive life course theories is Farrington's Integrative Theory which highlights the crucial needs to address "individual, personal, psychological factors alongside developmental, familial, situational, community and large scale structural and political processes" (McGuire, 2004). Farrington's longitudinal study of working class males incorporates these factors in explaining a developmental model in which life experiences influence the likelihood of delinquency. Farrington developed this life course theory through an extensive longitudinal study, it is of importance to mention the study in order for us to understand where his theory originated. Farrington's Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development ran from 1961 - 1981, in which 411 boys aged between 8 and 9 participated. 399 of these boys were from mainstream schools and 12 were from the local school for educationally subnormal as this was more representative of the general population in the area. All participants were males, from working class families, in urban London where there is a high prevalence of convictions. Farrington notes it was an overwhelmingly white, urban, working class sample of British origin, (1981). ...read more.


Loeber (1990), notes that factors in the family are among the best predictors in later delinquency in offspring. 6 3.2.1 Parenting Inadequate parenting practices are again powerful predictors of delinquency. According to Farrington's Cambridge study in Delinquent Development (1984), the boys who experienced extremes of poor parenting, harsh discipline and low family income were overrepresented among the most persistent offenders. Among the most significant parenting risks are: * Poor parental supervision * Harsh or erratic discipline * Parental conflict * Separation from biological parents * Having antisocial parents Poor parental supervision allows for a child to do as he pleases as he has no boundaries and parents are not involved enough to teach a child right from wrong, also delinquent behaviour may be a way of extracting attention from parents. The practicing of harsh or erratic discipline again presents a problem with boundaries, when parents only punish their children depending on their mood the child is in a constant state of flux and cannot discern right from wrong as one day he may exhibit a behaviour and get away with it and the next day be punished for it. This will ultimately lead a child to push the boundaries to test what he/she may get away with. Farrington found that antisocial parents tend to select antisocial partners and these antisocial parents often exhibit increased levels of conflict, offer poor parental supervision and harsh and erratic punishment. 7 These high levels of conflict amongst the family are also associated with the gradual development of aggression as a child learns how to socialize and deal with situations from their parents. If their parents often use aggressive tactics when interacting with each other and their children, the child learns to deal with any number of feelings aggressively. This is consistent with the social learning theory of Albert Bandura, and is a combination of both direct and vicarious modeling. A child learns from their parents how to deal with situations often using aggressive tactics displayed by both parents. ...read more.


12 4. SUMMARY Perhaps the most appealing component of Farrington's theory is that it does not study each predictor of delinquency separately, he acknowledges that these factors do not exist in a vacuum and all these factors impact on each other and are interrelated with each other in an ecosystemic way. One cannot view the impact the family has on antisocial and delinquent individuals without looking at the biological factors as well as the society in which the family functions. If there is a neurological disorder present at birth, it may influence the chances of delinquent behaviour more if the child is bought up in a low SES community, in a family that lacks cohesion and stability. The child will then not learn to socialize at home and when he goes to school will fall into the wrong crowd, exasperating the likelihood of delinquency occurring. 5. CONCLUSION Farrington's Theory of Delinquent Development is highly applicable to criminology today. As theories within the social sciences become more and more advanced they become circular and the understanding now is that things are not always linear, cause and effect and singular. It is not one single factor that will determine a person's likelihood of developing a criminal career but rather multiple factors that play a part from birth through the fundamental teenage years and beyond. Farrington's theory enables criminologists to view the criminal as a whole with a present, past and future, not just by the crime they committed. This is of great importance when trying to reform a criminal, help them understand their behaviour and to help them change their behaviour and their actions. Farrington's theory also allows for preventative measures to take place before the development of delinquency in certain 'high risk' individuals. These protective factors can be used as interventions in schools, communities and homes where the risk factors are prevalent. Since he has defined these risk factors it is easier to stage interventions as they arise and hopefully change the possible path of a career criminal. ...read more.

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